The Bump Debacle
I opened my mouth and garbage came out. I meant to say "You look great!" and instead "You're so small!" came tumbling out, just like a yellow snowball. See, I had been meeting some of my husband's new coworkers and one of them just so happened to be 5 months pregnant - a full month behind me. The truth is, she DID look great. Great hair, cute shoes, comfy sweater all rounded out by a big smile - the works! And knowing how it feels to be pregnant and for her to still look that great, I was impressed. Yet all I could focus on was her belly. Or rather, the lack of giant round bump. The truth though is that not all bumps are equal and to assume that she should look a certain way just because she was a certain amount of months pregnant was really crummy of me.
Bump at just 3 months than bump at 5 months. Sometimes, it's hard to tell there's even a bump there at all. Clothing, angles, and whether or not I've just eaten a meal totally change the way my bump sits.
I've been feeling a little hot and cold in regards to my own bump and perhaps I let myself project that onto this other woman. See, for the past week, I've been hearing a lot of "You're so big!" and "Any day now!" I HAVE FOUR MORE MONTHS TO GO! If people think I'm about to give birth in the Trader Joe's (true story) than WTF am I going to look like when I actually am about to give birth?! Part of the annoyance is another person commenting on my body. I love my bump, I love to wear tighter shirts so that my bump is out there, and I love that my bump holds something amazing inside. But when I hear those "big" comments, I wish I could suck my bump in a bit. I start to straighten up in the hopes my bump seems smaller and I wish I was wearing something different. I start to wonder "just how pregnant?" do I look. The self judging that I feel towards myself is immediate and to hear that comment several times a day sucks. I remind myself I'm petite with a short torso - where else is Baby supposed to grow but out? I remind myself I'm making smart eating choices and try to exercise when I'm not too uncomfortable. It's hard enough to deal with your changing body when you're pregnant, to deal with it when everyone thinks it's ok to comment and make note of those changes isn't fair.
This is my bump on the day The Bump Debacle happened. I wanted to post this picture because I want to show that this body of mine, the same body people feel a need to comment on, is beautiful. Sure, it's carrying an extra 20LBS but it's also carrying life. True, my thighs have thickened up but now they're strong enough to carry Baby. And yes, my love handles are soft and obvious but that's where Baby will bounce after they come Earthside.
Another part is that it scares me. I'm 5'1" and my husband is a full foot taller than I am. When I hear comments about how large my bump is, I start to think about how big my baby might be. That naturally makes me think about my vagina. My poor vagina who has no idea the fete it is going to have to perform in just 4 months time. My sweet vagina, who since it got me into this baby making situation, will very fittingly be getting me out of it. It TERRIFIES me to think that a giant baby is going to have to be pushed out. A six pound baby? NO PROBLEM! A seven pound baby? Completely doable. Add another pound or two onto that though and we're getting into territory where I'm thinking the worse. I'm having an unmedicated home birth people - I want to feel my baby being born but I don't want to be traumatized by it! So when people comment on the size of my baby it's like they're foreshadowing a very difficult birth and no mother wants that.
So to the woman who was on the receiving end of my yellow snowball mouth garbage - I'm sorry. Your bump is perfect and I shouldn't have commented on it. Instead we should have high-fived to how amazing our bodies are and how they're working harder than ever to create, grow, and bring forth life. We should have toasted our waters to the incredible and magical things that are going on inside our bumps. We should have flipped the bird to anyone who dared to call our bumps anything other than perfect.
What about you - have you ever been on the receiving (or giving!) end of a bump related comment? How did it get smoothed over?